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How to Fix a RAM Slot that is Not Working (STEPS)

Why is my RAM slot not working?

Your RAM slot may not be working because of an incompatible RAM, a broken slot, bent pins in the slot, a faulty motherboard or a bad RAM card. If your RAM is not working after putting it in the RAM slot, do a test to rule out the cause.

  • Incompatible RAM
  • Broken RAM slots
  • Bent pins in the slot
  • Faulty motherboard
  • Bad RAM card


To find out whether the RAM card is faulty or the RAM slot is bad, insert the RAM card in another slot to see if it works there. If the new RAM card works then this means the RAM slot is bad.


How do I know if my RAM slot is bad?

You know that your RAM slot is bad because of some symptoms like the computer failing to boot, RAM stick not working or recognized in the slot, problems during the boot process, visible damage in the slots like bent pins or too much dust.

To test the RAM slot, open the computer and check each of the RAM slots. Remove all the RAM sticks from all slots. Insert a working RAM in one slot first and check if your computer starts without problems or failure. If the computer starts without any errors, the RAM is good.

Remove this RAM stick and insert it into the second slot and so on. Boot your computer every time you test a new slot. If the computer boots properly without any problems or failure, it means that the RAM slot is good.

To confirm the failure of a particular RAM slot, you can perform this test using different RAM sticks, inserting each of them in each slot one by one and booting your computer.


Once you have found the bad RAM slot, follow the steps given below to fix it.

  1. Shut down your computer and unplug all the components from each other.
  2. Open the computer casing by following the instructions in the user’s manual provided by your manufacturer. It’s important because each system has different specifications based on the manufacturer.
  3. Check the position of the RAM slot in your computer and gently remove the RAM card/stick from this slot. There can be two to four RAM slots in a computer and so you have to find the failing slot first. You will need to use both your hands to remove the card. Be careful and hold the card firmly.
  4. Inspect the RAM stick or card carefully to spot any physical damage. If you notice this, the RAM must be replaced.
  5. Remove the accumulated dust from the RAM slot using proper cleaning agents like a blow dryer and a compressed air cleaner.
  6. Insert the RAM card back into the slot and connect everything back. Turn ON your computer and see if it works or not. If it doesn’t, then you will need to replace the RAM slot.


You can replace a RAM slot on your own. This needs a lot of precision and care as it involves soldering processes. If anything is done wrong or improperly, it can cost you heavily as many parts can get damaged. So, it’s better to get the RAM slot replaced by a service center.


Fixing a RAM slot not working


Can you fix a broken RAM slot?

No, you cannot fix a broken RAM slot. You can only replace it with a working RAM slot.

This is because the RAM slots, especially those located in the motherboard of the computer, have a network of delicate wiring and soldering in and around the space. This wiring may get damaged very easily when you try to replace the broken RAM slot.


How to fix a RAM slot that is not working?

You can try to fix a RAM slot that is not working by blowing some air into it and using a compressed air cleaner to suck out the dirt and dust accumulated in the slot.

Dust that accumulates inside the slots may clog the chambers that fit the RAM sticks in them and stop the RAM slot from working.

In case cleaning the slot doesn’t solve your problem, then your RAM slot is damaged and needs replacement. You can either replace the RAM slot or replace the motherboard altogether.


Follow the steps given below to replace the bad motherboard with a new one.

  1. Shut down your computer and remove all the cables attached to the system. Open the side of your computer case to expose the motherboard.
  2. Click a picture of the setting so that you don’t encounter confusion while assembling everything back.
  3. Remove the various cards like graphics cards, Wi-Fi cards and so on.
  4. Remove the cables that connect the SSD, hard drive and other media drives to your motherboard.
  5. Disconnect the power cables and connectors like the 8-pin CPU power connector and 24-pin ATX power connector from your motherboard.
  6. Unscrew the screws holding the motherboard in place using a screwdriver. Store the screws in a safe place.
  7. Gently remove the motherboard from the casing.
  8. Remove the CPU cooler, CPU and RAM from the motherboard as you will have to install them in the new board. Be very careful while taking the components out as rough handling may lead to severe damage.
  9. Install the above parts in the new motherboard. Put the input-output shield of your motherboard in the back part of the casing.
  10. Gently place the new motherboard in the empty casing. Use the standoff screws of the motherboard to prevent it from frying when you power ON the computer.
  11. Fasten the screws to firmly hold the motherboard in place. Reconnect the power connectors and cables.
  12. Insert the cables of the drivers of your computer.
  13. Put the various cards back in their slots. You can use the photo you took at the beginning for reference.
  14. Reconnect the external cables and power ON your computer. Your computer may restart itself two or three times. It happens because the motherboard tries to adjust to the working.


RAM slot not working after CPU upgrade

Your RAM slot may not be working after a CPU upgrade because of compatibility issues. Sometimes, these compatibility issues can be solved by updating the BIOS, disabling PCI-e4 in the BIOS or setting the RAM frequency.

If nothing works, you will have to replace the CPU with a new one that is compatible with the installed RAM specifications.

To update the BIOS, go to the manufacturer’s website and enter the specifications of your system. Press “Enter” and click the “BIOS” option. Download and save the file in your desktop. Right-click the file name and click the “Run as Administrator” option. Follow the given prompts to update the BIOS.

To disable the PCI-E4 in BIOS, enter the BIOS setup by pressing the key or combination of keys specified by your manufacturer to enter setup.

Find the “PCI” or “Hardware” option in the setup and change the PCI-E option status to “Disabled” using the arrow keys or “+”/“-“ keys. Save the settings and exit the setup by clicking the “Save and Quit” option.


1 RAM slot out of 4 is not working

If 1 RAM slot out of 4 is not working, it may be because of hardware issues. You can try resetting the CMOS to fix the issue.


To reset the CMOS, you will need to remove the main power supply of your computer.

  1. Remove the motherboard battery and place jumper pins on it for two minutes.
  2. Remove the jumper pins.
  3. Reinstall the motherboard battery and connect the video card output/monitor to the motherboard.
  4. Plug the main power supply back and start your computer to see if the RAM slot is working or not.


2 RAM slots out of 4 are not working

When 2 RAM slots out of 4 are not working, it may be because of dust accumulation in the other two ports or the RAM voltage set to a different level. You can try to blow compressed air in the slots to remove the dust and then check if that works.

You can also change the DRAM voltage to 1.57V. Try to insert the RAM sticks in the other two slots and see if they work fine now.


3 RAM slots out of 4 are not working

When 3 RAM slots out of 4 are not working, it may be due to bent or broken pins in the CPU or the decomposed thermal paste on the CPU fans.

The memory controller of the computer is located in the CPU. If the CPU pins are broken or bent, it will not be able to read the memory properly and it will seem like the slots are not working.

Check the thermal paste on the CPU fans. If the paste has decomposed, apply a new layer of paste on the fans. The paste helps in the cooling feature of the CPU fans.


How to fix a loose ram slot?

You can fix a loose RAM slot only by replacing the motherboard. It is because a loose RAM slot has broken clips that will not get locked with the clips of the RAM stick. These clips are very small pieces that cannot be repaired or replaced. Therefore, a motherboard replacement is needed.

Before replacing the motherboard, try the solutions given below.

  1. Clean the slot using alcohol and a fine unused painting brush. Use a blow dryer or compressed air pump to remove the dust from the slot.
  2. Try seating the RAM stick by applying enough downward force to snap the RAM stick in a locking position in the slot. The lock pins on the sides of the RAM stick must engage with those in the slot.

Use a magnifying glass to spot broken pins in the RAM slot. If you spot any bent or broken pins or faulty solder joints in the RAM slot, get the motherboard replaced by the service center of your computer manufacturer.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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